If your relationship with carbs is on the rocks, we have three pasta substitutes to fool your brain and please your belly.
Metabolic Courgette Linguine
> 4 courgettes > 2 tbsp olive oil > 1 garlic clove, sliced > 2 dried red chillies, crushed > 1 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped > Parmesan, grated, to serve
Turn the courgettes into noodles (use a spiralizer) and blanch in boiling water for two minutes. For the sauce, heat the oil in a pan, add the garlic and chillies and cook for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and add the courgette strands. Stir in the parsley, season and scatter with Parmesan.
The capsaicin in chilli boosts metabolism.
SERVES 4. Per 211g serving: 418kJ, 7g fat (1g sat), 7g carbs, 15mg sodium, 2g fibre, 2g protein
Regenerating Courgette Penne
> 4 courgettes > 4 tbsp olive oil > 1 onion, chopped > 800g plum tomatoes > 1 garlic clove, chopped > 2 tsp tomato purée > 1 pinch sugar > 1 sprig rosemary
Cut the courgettes into penne-sized shapes and blanch in boiling water for three minutes. Heat the oil and cook the onion until translucent. Squash the tomatoes with a fork and add to the pan with garlic, purée, sugar and rosemary. Simmer for 30 minutes. Remove the rosemary, mix with the courgettes and serve with a drizzle of olive oil.
Lycopene in tomatoes, which helps protect against sun damage, absorbs into your body better when heated. Even out of a can!
SERVES 4. Per 441g serving: 836kJ, 15g fat (2g sat), 17g carbs, 40mg sodium, 5g fibre, 5g protein
Brain-Boosting Aubergine Linguine
> 3 aubergines > 100ml olive oil > 200g fresh peas > 1 garlic clove, crushed > 200g soft goat’s cheese, crumbled > 1 handful mint, chopped > 1 handful Parmesan, grated
Cut the aubergine into one-centimetrewide strips, sprinkle with salt and drain for 15 minutes. Wash off the salt, pat dry, then fry in 50ml oil. Cook the peas for two to three minutes. Heat the remaining oil, add the garlic for one minute, then the peas for three minutes. Mix with goat’s cheese and aubergine. Serve with mint, Parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil.
Aubergine skin is packed with phytonutrients that improve blood circulation to the brain.
SERVES 4. Per 534g serving: 1 881kJ, 30g fat (11g sat), 32g carbs, 270mg sodium, 14g fibre, 18g protein